Chicken Curry Soup – 142

Last weekend Eric and I went to our favorite book store in Nashville, McKay’s Used Books. It is the best place to spend a few hours, spend very little money and come home with a ton of fun. They have used DVDs, books, audio books, video games, and (Eric’s favorite) vinyl albums. He usually spends the entire time browsing through the albums and I divide my time between DVDs and books.

This particular outing we totally scored. Eric got the Beatles 1962-1966 double album for $9.95 (the most he’s ever spent for an album there), a Bad Company for .50¢, Queen for .68¢, Simon & Garfunkel live in Central Park for $4.95 and several others, . I got a 5 DVD set of a World War II documentary and a 4 DVD set of Elvis movies for less than $10. My best value was two giant, full-color cookbooks from the early 90’s for .25¢ each.

When we got home I immediately started looking for some new recipe ideas (with the Beatles playing in the background, of course). I found so many! I kept turning the pages and finding really interesting ideas. I marked all the pages where I found things I wanted to try and then I went back and looked for something I could make for dinner based on the ingredients I had on hand. I settled on a Curried Soup. As usual, I liked elements of the recipe, but I wanted to “make it my own”. I already had some chicken breast in the fridge and some great fresh organic broccoli from our last trip to Whole Foods. I ended up with a delicious Chicken Curry Soup. I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think!

Chicken Curry Soup

 

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 – lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup carrots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup onion, sliced
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 medium head broccoli florets
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
5 cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
2 cups cooked brown rice (I use Success brown rice, in a bag – 1 bag = 2 cups)

In a medium skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium heat; add the diced chicken and season with black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of curry powder. Saute until browned and cooked through. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Add carrots, garlic, onion, red pepper, and broccoli to skillet; season with 2 teaspoons curry powder, the coriander and cumin. Saute for  5 – 6 minutes until onion is soft. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes (until veggies are done to your liking – you don’t want them mushy). Stir in the cooked chicken and rice; simmer for an additional few minutes to mingle the flavors. YUM 🙂

African Chickpea Stew – 151

I came across this recipe idea totally by accident, it came up in some search results when I was looking for exercises that can help a hernia! It was a link from a link from another link…anyway, long story. The first recipe I saw had some things in it that I really didn’t like, but I loved the idea of a thick stew (more goulash consistency really, not at all soupy) and the combination of sweet potatoes, chickpeas and carrots. I started searching other recipes and I put several ideas together, added more garlic and onion and came up with this.

African Chickpea Stew

 

1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
1-1/2 lbs. uncooked sweet potato, diced
1-1/2 cups carrots, diced
2-1/2 cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 – 15 oz. can no-salt added diced tomatoes
1 – 15 oz. can low-salt chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Spicy Sauce
2 bags Success brown rice, cooked according to package directions and drained

Spicy Sauce

4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 Tablespoon All Natural Peanut Butter
1 – 6 oz. can no-salt added tomato paste
1/2 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Combine all ingredients into a food processor and blend into a smooth, thick pasty sauce.

Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the garlic and onion. Saute until the onion is slightly soft (be careful not to burn the garlic). Add the sweet potato and carrots; season with a little black pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon). Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes (until the potatoes and carrots are done to your liking). Add the Spicy Sauce and blend well. Mix in the diced tomatoes and chickpeas; cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Add the cooked rice, mix well and enjoy!

 

General Normand Tso’s Chicken – 153

I know, there really is no such person as Normand Tso..sue me! I used to love getting Chinese take out. That is until an hour or so after finishing the food, that’s when some very unpleasant effects would start 🙁 No problem, I’ve conquered  Spicy Peanut Noodles and Chicken Teriyaki, why not try the General’s Chicken? I searched on line and in books for some ideas, then combined a few of those ideas with some of my own and a quick  pan fry technique instead of deep frying. The taste is very close, it’s pretty easy to make, much cheaper than take out, and a whole lot healthier. Get out your wok, some chopsticks and give it a try!

General Normand Tso’s Chicken

 

Sauce:

1/4 cup cornstarch
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup Splenda
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

Put all ingredients into medium bowl; mix well. Set aside

Chicken:

2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into large chunks
3 Tablespoons Canola Oil

Veggies:

1 red pepper, julienne sliced
1 yellow pepper, julienne sliced
1 small onion (Vidalia or Red), sliced
1 cup portobello  mushrooms, sliced

2 bags Success brown rice, cooked according to package directions (for best results, cook the rice way beforehand and chill; then use the cold rice)

Place soy sauce, egg, cornstarch, pepper flakes, and cayenne in medium bowl; whisk until smooth. Add chicken and coat well. Heat oil in wok (or large skillet) until very hot (but not smoking). Add chicken chunks a few at a time, cook until very brown, turn and cook the other side; remove to a plate that has been lined with paper towels. Continue until all chicken is done. Add all the veggies to the wok and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes, until they are tender-crisp. Pour in “Sauce”; cook until thick (if the sauce gets too thick, add a little water). Add chicken back to pan and cook for an additional minute. Add rice and mix well. Serve and enjoy 🙂

Mexican Stir Fry – 161

This is one of my favorite recipes. It’s super fast, really good for you and takes very little time to cook. Of course, having my prep cook (I mean sous chef 🙂 ) chopping up the veggies first is a big help! Even if you don’t have your own sous chef, it’s still a really quick meal to prepare and it makes a ton. You can vary the amounts of spices to make it as hot or mild as you like. We like ours pretty spicy!

At less than 300 calories per serving, you can feel good about pairing it with an icy cold beer (or two)!!

Mexican Stir Fry

1 diced green pepper
1 diced yellow pepper
1 diced orange pepper
½ cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup diced jalapeno peppers
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 – 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, no salt added
2 bags Success Brown Rice, cooked and drained
1 – 15 oz. can low-sodium black beans, drained & rinsed*
1 – 16 oz. can low-sodium chick peas, drained & rinsed*

Sauté the peppers, onion and garlic in a hot wok (or large saute pan) that has been sprayed with non-fat cooking spray. Sprinkle with spices and continue cooking until the veggies are just slightly soft. Add the jalapeno peppers and saute for 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well, and let cook over low/med heat for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Serve topped with a sprinkle of Fat Free Cheddar Cheese.

*Variation – when I have leftover Baked Beans (recipe here) I substitute 2 – 3 cups of the leftover beans for the canned beans.